Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Personal Librarian

Belle da Costa Greene is working as a librarian at Princeton University. A lovely young woman, she spends her days surrounded by books and rare manuscripts, history and art - passions since she was ten years old. In 1905, a student with whom she had become quite friendly refers Belle for a job as directress of his uncle’s private library. Working closely with the most powerful financier on Wall Street, J.P. Morgan himself, changes Belle’s future and that of her entire family forever. Beautiful, intelligent and trusted, she literally becomes the belle of the ball, securing world wide treasure’s helping create one of the preeminent collections in the world. Rubbing shoulders with famous art dealers and gallerists unsuspecting of Belle’s flirty manipulations, she becomes one of the most successful businesswomen of her time. But there is one thing Belle is hiding. Behind the silk curtains she is part of an African American family that has passed as white. As Belle’s father spent his life advocating for equal rights, her mother secretly and slowly changed the family’s name and history to reflect Portuguese descent and smudged their lineage just enough to quiet any rumors. As the sole support of the family, Belle became expert at hiding her own identity, for she knew deep in her heart that Mr. Morgan would not be able to overlook his racial prejudice. It became Belle’s lifelong mission to bury her secret while securing the future for The Morgan Library. Historical fiction at its very best, this magnificent novel brings the past roaring back to life. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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